The GS started as the graduate program of the Northern Luzon Teachers College (NLTC) in June 1963, offering Master of Arts in Education, major in Administration and Supervision. It gradually offered other major fields of study, namely: Health Education, English, Filipino, Guidance and Counseling, Child Study and Development, and Home Economics.

In June 1976, the NLTC became the Northern Luzon State College (NLSC) by virtue of Presidential Decree (PD) 994. It was at this time that the Master of Arts in Public Administration was opened.
PD 1279 issued on January 6, 1978 merged the NLSC with the Mariano Marcos Memorial College of Science and Technology (MMCST) in Batac, Ilocos Norte to establish the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). The NLSC campus then became MMSU College of Education (CE). The main campus was set up in Batac. The same PD transferred the higher education courses of the Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trade (INCAT) to the University,  hence the Master of Arts in Trade and Vocational Education,  a degree offering of INCAT was absorbed by the CE and became part of its graduate programs. This led to the enrichment of the curricula and the offering of Doctor of Education, major in Educational Management.

The GS as a separate academic unit of the University was finally established in 1981. From then on, other graduate programs in other fields were introduced, such as those  in agriculture,  nursing, rural development, agricultural engineering, linguistics, biology, and mathematics.